This paper gives an overview of the progress which has been made in surface metrology over the past ten years. It updates the surface classification system, and discusses the practical and theoretical reasons for the technological shifts which have occurred. This includes the use of surfaces with predetermined features as an alternative to traditional machined surfaces, and the move from simple to freeform shapes. The paper discusses technological shifts in association, filtration, numeric parametric techniques, fractals associated with function and standardisation. Many examples are given in order to contextualise the significance of these technological changes. This paper should help to predict the direction of future developments in surface metrology, and therefore emphasise its importance in functional applications in advanced manufacture.